“We’ve been making self-care such a fluffy, enjoyable idea that when we actually get into the zone of trying to take care of ourselves and to rebalance ourself and our priorities, we’re all of a sudden in this dark zone and it’s so hard, and it’s so confusing and frustrating.”
That was what fashion blogger Valeria Lipovetsky
(@valerialipovetsky) said on her video Stop Romanticizing Self-Care, which made a lot of sense and really hit close to home.
As an angsty, confused member of Gen Z making up for the lack of emotional guidance by scrolling through social media and looking for ways to fill that gap, I kind of wired myself to believe that self-love or self-care is all rainbows and butterflies.
But even with the little experience that I have, I realized that what Valeria said was true. It came to me as a surprise because I was just trying to find something to watch on YouTube.
Little did I know it would turn into a learning experience.
Valeria said self-care requires perseverance and patience. This means getting out of comfort zones and letting emotions flow through — frustration, anger, fear, sadness etc. — in order to take the next step to being genuinely okay.
Self-care is about boundaries. Traditions made us believe that there is much to lose when we let go of toxic people especially when they have made an impact at some point in our life. By creating boundaries for ourselves, we’ll be able to look past the insignificant things and curate our kind and safe space.
Self-care is skipping instant gratification. If something feels good right away, it’s not necessarily a good thing. Instant gratification makes us lose the ability of differentiating if what we did was good for us or not. By opening the door to instability, we’ll feel exhausted but only for a certain time. It will teach us to identify if what we did was beneficial for us or not.
Self-care is about being open to change. It’s understandable if breaking a routine is hard, but by doing so, we’ll be able to improve and create healthier routines that will be beneficial in the future, like taking care of finances.
Self-care is taking a conscious effort every day. We must also exert effort on ourselves. It will bring us closer to the person we want to become. It will give us a more realistic understanding of the saying, “It takes a lot of hard work and courage to get to the top of the mountain.”
Veleria said, “The sooner that we get this bubbly stigma away from it, we’ll know that when it hurts, (we’ll know) how to recognize when it’s just that momentary hurt to benefit us for the long run.”
Identifying things that genuinely heal us and make us a better person is something to reflect on, especially in this month that celebrates Mental Health Awareness.